Friday, June 11, 2010

Soccer, Anyone?

Anyone who hasn't been living off the grid this week will have noticed, as I have, that some big soccer tournament started today. FIFA World Cup Soccer, to be exact, being hosted by South Africa.

What you may not know is that the grass for all of these matches has been provided by a Canadian company. As if that is not astounding enough, said grass is being provided by a company named Pickseed whose headquarters are located in the very same small town where I grew up, Lindsay, Ontario (the grass itself will be grown in Manitoba). Talk about a small world!

Now, I will freely admit that I know nothing about soccer. I have never played the game, never watched anyone play it for more than 30 seconds at one time. Nor do I wish to start now. It wasn't as popular a sport when was I growing up way back in the last century, not like it is now, as I understand kids of all ages and both sexes play anywhere and everywhere these days.

What I find amazing is that so many people are so excited about this tournament. It's a virtual frenzy of excitement here in the city of Toronto. Last week, flags of various countries started appearing on cars. I work for a property management company and this week, the calls started rolling in from tenants who suddenly want to put a satellite dish on the roof of their building so they can watch the games (why they waited until the last minute to make these arrangements is a mystery to me). A special law was passed to allow bars to start serving liquor one whole hour earlier in the morning, i.e. starting at 10 a.m. instead of 11, to accommodate the soccer watching fans who might develop an early morning thirst. I am told that several bars and restaurants along the Danforth (the heart of Greektown) are already booked up for Greece's first match tomorrow morning, which starts at 7:30 a.m. And most horrifying of all, Sunday morning viewings of my beloved Coronation Street will not be shown on CBC for the next 3 weekends in a row, forcing viewers to catch the episodes in 5 half hour bits on weeknights or watch online, instead of a leisurely 2.5 hour delight on the weekend. It's a darn shame.

I personally don't plan to watch any soccer in the next four weeks and really don't care who wins but if I had to vote, I would be cheering for Portugal. Why, you may ask? I think these photos that arrived in my inbox earlier today say it all:


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